The Whole Woodstock (Museum) Experience


Heading back to rural New York again and to the soon-to-open Museum at Bethel Woods (or “The Woodstock Museum”). Jeremy Gerard over at Bloomberg wound up getting the whole story behind the creation of the museum, from buying the land to the fallout from the government trying to hand it some money to its opening this weekend and the problems they’re already having with the place (see: they held the original, 1969 festival out in the middle of nowhere for a reason — there’s nothing around for miles). It’s a fun piece, full of all the colorful characters who can’t keep from wanting to relive their glorious, rebellious, mud-encrusted, odorous youths, as well as some critiquing of the new building and its various exhibits:

The hardwood structures feel tersely corporate; above one interior archway there’s even the U.S. Marine Corps insignia — a tribute to Gerry [the writer’s tour guide]’s service but strikingly out of place here.

You can watch films describing the advent of rock music, the British invasion, the clothes and art of the period. You can revisit the civil rights and antiwar movements on video and film; sit in a psychedelic bus, recall the Kennedy assassinations and the moon landing. Some 70 oral histories were commissioned and filmed by documentary filmmakers, and the ones I viewed were entertaining and informative about politics, culture and fashion.